Sunday, June 6, 2010

Why I Decided to Sew

I started sewing because I bought a sewing machine. And I bought a sewing machine because I needed to hem a pair of pants and my hand stitching is oh-so-not straight! But...that's not quite right. I bought a sewing machine because going to a tailor gets expensive (and I found a sewing machine for under $60), and I had a lot of time on my hands. And I've had a lot of time on my hands for months now. Why? Well...that begins my story.

About six months ago, I was helping a child in my toddler class wash his hands, and as I was standing up, I felt this pop in my back. I suddenly could not walk or sit or move, really, without terrible pain. I burst into tears in front of my students, my coworkers, a parent and a student teacher. I had to be taken on a stretcher to the ER, the most embarrassing part of which wasn't my kids asking me if I was ok, or crying while being lifted onto the stretcher, or even knowing that people were watching me as I was being wheeled out of the huge building I work in and out into the rain. The really embarrassing part was that I didn't even do much and suddenly I was so utterly useless.

This isn't the first time I've had some big health issue for no reason. In high school I had strange poppings and pain in my lower back and hips, making me miss a good chunk of my senior year leading my dance team. I was told many times that I was young and shouldn't have back problems. Nine months of diagnostics later, I found out dance was exactly what caused the injury to my SI joint, making my hips too flexible and causing misallignment. So I had to quit that passion. I've had many bouts of multiple bilateral kidney stones that weren't caused by diet, as well as recurring ovarian cysts on both sides. I couldn't explain why I was always in pain and throwing up and staying home. I later found out that not only did I have endometriosis, a condition that causes pain, cysts and infertility, but I also suffered from medulary sponge kidneys and renal tubular acidosis. This is what caused my almost 30 kidney stones in just 3 years.

Of course, I'm not writing this blog to complain and bitch and say, "Oh poor me!" I think I've done enough of that to my poor boyfriend over the last five months. A month of that I couldn't leave my own bed, get dressed on my own, even bend down to get a pot and cook myself some lunch. They determined I had no spinal or disk damage, but had worn out the muscles in my back during the three years I had spent teaching toddlers. Over the next four months, I went to physical therapy, building up the muscles in my back and was overjoyed when I was cleared to go back. However, my company, which is closing the child care center I work at later in the year, put me in the first wave of teachers to be laid off.

So here I home. With lots of time on my hands. Once again, I feel that my body has told me I have to give up one of my passions: teaching young children. And this leads me back to sewing, and this blog. I had a hard time finding things to do during those four months at home, and put a lot of time and effort into my jobs search for the fall. After a lot of soul searching, and reflection on what put me in the position I was in, I decided not to look into child care anymore and commit to looking for the kindergarten or first grade position I had longed for since I graduated from college. I found that this search goes much, much slower. So when my new pants were too long and my pathetic hand stitching didn't cut it, I bought a sewing machine. A fire lit under my butt and I thought, "Hey! I don't have to sit around all day, watching bad television and lamenting over my situation. I can sew!"

And "sew" I did. I've decided to create a new passion, and rekindle an old one as well: writing. This is my blog documenting my efforts to better myself and learn a trade that I never thought I would use. I've had a little bit of training as a kid, but for the most part, I am winging it. Looking here and there, picking up techniques online and in books and hoping that I can turn this into a real hobby. And of course, venting my frustrations on the internet. :)

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